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A Libertarian's New Year's resolutions
Posted By Harry Browne On 12/31/1998 @ 1:00 am In Commentary | Comments Disabled
- I resolve to sell liberty by appealing to the self-interest of each
prospect, rather than preaching to people and expecting them to suddenly
adopt my ideas of right and wrong.
- I resolve to keep from being drawn into arguments or debates. My purpose
is to inspire people to want liberty — not to prove that they’re wrong.
- I resolve to listen when people tell me of their wants and needs, so I
can help them see how a free society will satisfy those needs.
- I resolve to identify myself, when appropriate, with the social goals
someone may seek — a cleaner environment, more help for the poor, a less
divisive society — and try to show him that those goals can never be
achieved by government, but will be well served in a free society.
- I resolve to be compassionate and respectful of the beliefs and needs
that lead people to seek government help. I don’t have to approve of their
subsidies or policies — but if I don’t acknowledge their needs, I have no
hope of helping them find a better way to solve their problems.
- No matter what the issue, I resolve to keep returning to the central
point: how much better off the individual will be in a free society.
- I resolve to acknowledge my good fortune in having been born an
American. Any plan for improvement must begin with a recognition of the
good things we have. To speak only of America’s defects will make me a
- I resolve to focus on the ways America could be so much better with a
very small government — not to dwell on all the wrongs that exist today.
- I resolve to cleanse myself of hate, resentment, and bitterness. Such
things steal time and attention from the work that must be done.
- I resolve to speak, dress, and act in a respectable manner. I may be
the first Libertarian someone has encountered, and it’s important that he
get a good first impression. No one will hear the message if the messenger
- I resolve to remind myself that someone’s “stupid” opinion may be an
opinion I once held. If I can grow, why can’t I help him grow?
- I resolve not to raise my voice in any discussion. In a shouting match,
no one wins, no one changes his mind, and no one will be inspired to join
our quest for a free society.
- I resolve not to adopt the tactics of Republicans and Democrats. They
use character assassination, evasions, and intimidation because they have
no real benefits to offer Americans. We, on the other hand, are offering to
set people free — and so we can win simply by focusing on the better life
our proposals will bring.
- I resolve to be civil to my opponents, and treat them with respect.
However anyone chooses to treat me, it’s important that I be a better
person than my enemies.
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